(L to R) British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal
Joseph was born on the 25th November 1894 in Oldham. He later lived at 203 Conran Street in Harpurhey with his father, Robert, and his mother, Clara. His father worked as a hairdresser. They later moved to 67 Barrett Street in Old Trafford. Joseph had a brother called Charles who worked as an invoice clerk. Joseph worked as a packer in a railway warehouse.
Joseph enlisted in the Army on the 17th February 1916 when he was 21 years old. He initially joined the 4th (Reserve) Battalion of the Manchester Regiment and was given the service number 34930. His records described him as being 5 foot 2 and a half inches tall, with blue eyes and fair hair.
Joseph was transferred to the 16th Battalion in December 1916, and later to the 19th Battalion. These were ‘pals battalions’ formed earlier in the war which by now needed reinforcements after suffering heavy losses during the Somme Offensive of 1916.
Joseph was wounded on the 31st March 1917, although the exact details are unknown. In November he was transferred to 784 Company of the Labour Corps and given a new service number 397286. This suggests his injuries prevented him serving on the front lines, but were not severe enough for him to be discharged from the Army.
Joseph survived the war. He married Lillian and they had two children together, Harry and Robert. In 1939 he was working as an assistant rollerman in a flour mill. Joseph died in 1977 at the age of 83.
Joseph’s medals were donated to the museum collections in 2014.